2007 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show - Nanotech 2007 - 10th Annual

Forensic Environmental Analysis of Nanotechnology Regulation

C.A. Scher and D.L. Caputo
Quest Consulting, Inc., US

forensic, regulation, scientific reasoning

Some considerable effort has recently been displayed by manufacturers, researchers, regulatory bodies, professional organizations, NGOs, and other interested parties addressing how nano-particles and their manufacture should be environmentally regulated. The term environment here is used in a very broad context; it also refers to health and safety and extends from manufacture through consumer use to the nano-particle’s ultimate disposition. This issue is not solely the USA’s; it extends to all countries currently and potentially fielding a nanotechnology industry. There is room for everyone; but how to best meet the technical challenges of everything nano, making it economically attractive, and yet minimizing potential risk to human health and the environment. There is a body of thought within science and engineering termed forensics. Forensic environmental engineering and science is becoming popular among professionals and more frequently used in environmental thought and investigation. This technique is an outgrowth of the scientific method and reasoning approach updated by Rene Descartes in 1637. Forensic environmental science and engineering is a state of mind; an analytical approach to solving this problem as stated in the title. This paper will address the application of forensics to solving the problem of environmental regulation of nanotechnology.

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